10,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees

People inspired by prominent author ready to welcome refugees, urge Icelandic government to do more

10,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ten thousand Icelanders are ready to open their homes to Syrian refugees, as part of a Facebook campaign launched by Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, a prominent author, after the government said it would only accept 50 humanitarian refugees from Syria.

Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged fellow citizens to speak out in favour of those in need of asylum. In only 24 hours 10,000 Icelanders – out of country's 300,000 – took to Facebook to offer up their homes and urge their government to do more.

"I'm a single mother with a 6-year-old son... We can take a child in need. I'm a teacher and would teach the child to speak, read and write Icelandic and adjust to Icelandic society. We have clothes, a bed, toys and everything a child needs. I would of course pay for the airplane ticket," wrote Hekla Stefansdottir in a post.

"I think people have had enough of seeing news stories from the Mediterranean and refugee camps of dying people and they want something done now", Bjorgvinsdottir told Icelandic public television RUV.

After such popular support to Bjorgvinsdottir's initiative Icelandic government is now looking at increasing its refugee quota. 

Eyglo Hardardottir, Iceland's Welfare Minister, said that authorities are examining offers made on Facebook, and would consider upping the number of refugees accepted under a humanitarian quota.

"I have made it clear that I don't want to name a maximum figure", she said. "But we (will) explore every avenue available in welcoming more refugees".

Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2015, 16:47
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